Our Courtship - Part 1

our wedding rings

"Then the Lord God said,
'It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.' "
Genesis 2

Hmmm...so I wanted to share our courtship story.
The basic version though, because like all things in life:
it wasn't drama-free or pain-free.
However,  God used the drama and the pain to draw us
closer to Him and to each other and I think that made for
a really solid foundation in our relationship before we ever said "I do".

While there are many, many aspects of our friendship,  courtship, 
and then marriage that would add to my story and help it make more sense and give me even more
cause to praise God's name;  some of it is just not what I want to broadcast over the internet.
It's intensely private and some of it brings back painful memories.
I'm fiercely protective of those I love and it would be too easy to say too many things.

So maybe we should start with what exactly IS courtship?

 Everyone always wants to give their own definition of what courtship is or means to them.
 That right there is the answer.
 You can't really define it. Not really.
 Every single courtship is different. Each relationship is made up of two people.
 Different people. Different families. Different churches.
 Different backgrounds. Different likes and dislikes, etc.

What model works for one family might not work for another.
 Sometimes there is a great distance involved geographically.
 Some courtships are brief,  but others require longer periods of time to determine whether or not the couple is meant to be married.

 Courtship is NOT engagement.
Courtship is the time given to the couple to determine if they are meant to be married.
 Entering into courtship is not binding in the way that engagement is.
 Engagement is a commitment to each other - you're making an agreement to marry that person.

Courtship is to be the time when you decide if he or she is "the one".
 Of course there are instances after a couple get engaged that require the breaking of that agreement and I'm not suggesting otherwise.

Just like courtship is not engagement ...
Engagement is not marriage.
Courtship is practiced by those who do not want to "date around" in order to find a spouse.

Just for the record:
Please do not think that I'm looking down on
those who found their spouse by dating.
I know many godly couples who have found their spouse
this way.
My parents included.
I am NOT trying to lump all daters together.

My parents and I had studied A LOT on the subject courtship and listened to
talks from Doug Phillips at Vision Forum and read books by all kinds of people like Joshua Harris (I Kissed Dating Goodbye) plus about a dozen others at least.

Studying up on the topic is a good idea.
I still don't think it can ever totally prepare the parents or the guy/girl for the experience of courtship.
My parents just read a wide variety of books and articles on the topic and paired that with our own situation and that just produced the sort of courtship that was tailor made for me and Caleb.
My parents did the same thing with my sister and her fiance.
Their courtship was tailored to suit them, because they aren't Caleb and Adri.
They are Gary and Ariel. or Gariel, if you will *snicker*
They're their own couple and two very different people.
That's how my parents handled things anyways :)

I believe one of the main reasons dating is not desirable is the whole mindset behind it.
Too many people want to be free to date around and jump from person to person.
 Isn't that emotionally exhausting?

Now practicing courtship doesn't guarantee that you won't get your heart broken.
 Entering into ANY relationship in this world makes you vulnerable.
 Whether through friendship or romantically - you put your heart at risk when
 you grow close to someone.

My desire as a single woman was to not jump from one guy to the next
hoping that Mr. Right would be made obvious to me and
then we would get married and live happily ever after.

I asked the Lord to bring me one man only - the man He wanted me to marry.
There were some complications to my plan, but God is good and He decides the who and when.

 It was a wonderful day when He opened my eyes
 to the wonderful man that He had placed before me - Caleb!

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